Pac-12 schools are facing a $72 million overpayment scandal after Comcast overpaid the athletic conference’s regional sports network with $50 million owed to Comcast and $22 million owed to the Pac-12 conferance. The company realized it was overcharged for licensing fees from 2012 through 2016. Now Comcast wants its money back, and Pac-12 schools are on the hook for this.
Comcast previously decided it will not be paying additional licensing fees to Pac-12 until the end of the summer of next year. Each school in the Pac-12 will lose out on $4 million during this time frame.
This comes as the Pac-12 Network Chief Founding Officer Brent Willman and Networks President Mark Shuken have been fired. They, in turn, filed a lawsuit against the Pac-12 conference “alleging that they informed former Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott about the Comcast overpayment in a timely manner but were ordered to keep quiet about it.”
A number of sports leagues have been renegotiating their contracts or looking at other options in recent months. More are looking to secure media rights deals with streaming networks in addition or instead of traditional linear broadcast television.
This all comes as the Pac-12 will soon become the Pac-2. Next summer all but two teams, Washington State and Oregon State, are all moving to the Big Ten or Big 12. Even with that move they will still likely be on the hook for the $72 million owed back to Comcast and the Pac-12.
Correction the original story over stated the amount owed to Comcast. The total owed to both Comcast and the Pac-12 is $72 million by the Pac-12 schools.